What is a direct payment?

A direct payment is an amount of money from the council to allow you to purchase your own care, rather than the council providing care for you.

Receiving a direct payment means you:

  • are able to arrange your own services or support
  • have more freedom, choice and control to decide how your needs are met
  • can be creative in your thinking on how your budget is used.

What can I spend my direct payment on?

A direct payment can be spent on anything in your support plan that meets the outcomes that have been identified.

Examples of things you can buy with your direct payment include:

  • care and support to help you live in your own home
  • employing a personal assistant to help you do different activities
  • transport costs to meet eligible needs
  • support in college or in a job
  • travel training
  • short breaks and leisure activities.

How can I receive my direct payment?

Prepaid card

The council will pay your direct payment into your prepaid card account. The card, which works like a debit card, enables you to draw on the money paid into your account. 

Via a bank account

If you receive your direct payment via a bank account, you will need to produce receipts for each purchase to show that it has been spent in accordance with the support plan.

Managed account

The council will pay your direct payment into your managed account which is managed by an external payroll company. 

They will calculate and make payments for all costs such as:

  • personal assistant salaries
  • HMRC payments
  • insurance payments

that are linked to your agreed support plan prepaid card account.  You will not normally be required to provide monitoring returns and produce any receipts to the council.

Arranging your care

You can:

  • receive your care and support through a care agency - home care agencies, employ care workers - and arrange for them to provide care services
    • search for local agencies
    • speak with your social worker about your language, culture and gender preferences and our brokerage team will produce their top three recommendations
  • choose to employ your own personal assistant. This can be someone you already know, or our support service can help you to find suitable candidates.

Adult Social Care will ensure that you continue to receive the support you need through a care agency. while you go through the recruitment process.

PeoplePlus Direct Payment Support Service

PeoplePlus provide support and guidance for people in Tower Hamlets who receive direct payments. 

PeoplePlus is an experienced provider that will offer you a personalised service to ensure you have choice and control over your care and support package.

Supporting you: timeline

PeoplePlus will make initial contact, via telephone, with the referred service user within two working days of the referral being received. The purpose of this initial contact will be to introduce the service and to arrange an initial meeting.

A first meeting will be held with the referred service user within five working days of the first contact with the service user being made.  The meeting can be virtual or in person. This happens except in circumstances where it is not convenient to the service user to meet within that timescale. 

Beyond this point, the timescales will vary on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the care and support arrangements the service user requires, and on the service user’s individual circumstances.

They will support you to maximise your independence so you are able to live the life you choose. They do this by providing:

  • information and guidance about setting up direct payments
  • support to recruit and employ a personal assistant
  • support with providing employer’s liability insurance details
  • help with identifying possible providers from Tower Hamlet Council’s Community Directory
  • training and ongoing support in meeting employment responsibilities, managing risk and staying safe
  • support with planning for contingencies and emergencies
  • access to peer support in local community settings across Tower Hamlets.